words and photos by bill bodkin
On Friday May 11, the summer 2012 season at The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. was kicked off with a supersonic boom as Rob Zombie along with Megadeth and Lacuna Coil rolled into the Garden State.
The set-up for Rob Zombie’s headlining set was shrouded from the audience with a massive screen print of King Kong fending off airplanes while atop the Empire State Building.
Then…the light went down, the King Kong curtain fell to the ground and the audience was presented with a massive set that looked like a futuristic B-movie backlot. Massive video screens adorned the set while a gigantic robotic Frankenstein-esque monster stood in the center of the stage. As the beginning of ‘Jesus Frankenstein’ was being performed by Zombie’s band, the man himself emerged from the metallic monster. Adorned in a full mask, carrying a massive arm piece and a full leather trench coat, Zombie looked like a demonic ringleader.
And then all of a sudden he bellowed…”ALL HAIL…JESUS…FRANKENSTEIN!” And with that Rob Zombie’s one hour plus set kicked into maximum overdrive. The set was a blistering, thunderous amalgam of Zombie’s solo work and a few of his classics from the band that brought him to the dance, White Zombie.
Vocally, Zombie is better than he is on record. The gravel filled growl you’re used to hearing on your iPod becomes a satanic lion’s roar live. And as a showman — Zombie holds the audience in the palm of his hand. Headbanging, strutting and thrashing about stage with the greatest of ease and teeming with panache — it’s a no brainer to make the conclusion that Rob Zombie is one of the most dynamic and charismatic frontmen in heavy metal.
Rob Zombie is a must-see live. Watching him live is an absolute experience, it’s a visual treat with flames, old movie clips, crazy costumes, horror movie characters wandering through the sets — sights you’ll rarely see at any other concert you’ll go to. And musically — Rob Zombie produces some of the grooviest, heaviest and most fun metal you’re going to hear.
1. Jesus Frankenstein
3. Scum of the Earth
4. Living Dead Girl
5. More Human Than Human — White Zombie
6. Black Sunshine — White Zombie
7. Mars Needs Women
8. Demonoid Phenomenon
9. Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)
10. P**** Liquor
11. Thunder Kiss ’65 –White Zombie song